Elaine d'Esterre

Contemporary Visual Artist – Paintings, Mixed Media and Etchings


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‘Interrogating Rock’ – intaglio & metal leaf

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I produced these images on paper by intaglio technique and black ink using a zinc plate. The process began two years ago having done the black and white intaglio I wanted to experiment with metal leaf as a composition element. It was a struggle to apply the leaf ( copper, gold and silver) with ink resulting in several mistakes and badly printed efforts with the leaf tearing and printing in places not intended.

But my disappointment lifted when I looked at them from a distance and saw in these altered random elements an unintended continuation of my environment/geology theme with human interaction as integrated part, not separate from it. So the messy metal leaf became ore bodies as I recalled a period in my life when I lived in mining towns and ventured underground at a copper mine in Tasmania.

The first 3 images worked with some trimming but the others needed chine colle as a composition element and in one I scraped away part of the leaf. In another 7/10 print I combined a plate from another series about Brachina gorge with the first plate as well as applying gold leaf and chine colle.

As a result this type of edition, because although the images vary I retain in each print an element of the first print ie the black intaglio, is termed a variable edition. I prefer this way of printing which can look painterly, perhaps, to traditional editioning where multiples of the same image make up an edition.

 

 


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Collage and Texture

When I compare collage and mixed media compositions with oil painted compositions sharing the same topic, I become aware of how different media often suit particular topics.

In this case contemporary art about the environment and the forces of nature somehow is suited to the dryness of rice paper as well as handmade paper as they become simulations of the earth’s surface and landforms. The dusty terrain, desiccated rock surfaces, cracked salt-laden and powdery surfaces and dry sand depictions, although semi abstracted, seem so much easier to portray with various collages than with the lush textures and viscosity of oil paint. Impasto especially can look too lush when alluding to Australia’s ancient land.

One solution to attain the powdery delicate but ancient bleached look was when I mixed grated pastel into gesso and then applied liberally on top of gesso ground whether on canvas, paper or wood surface. I usually begin with this technique but am often not quite satisfied with the end result so I will keep on experimenting.

I feel as though this small series has ended for now and oil painting is calling once again back to psychological portraits where oil paint is a sympathetic medium in which to portray subtleties  and nuanced tonal values.

Timeline in Brachina Gorge 2, 2016


New Home Page Exhibition – Absorbing the Landscape

My new Home Page images are part of an ongoing fascination for a gorge in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia and the 500 million year old Ediacaran fossils found there. In previous posts I described some of the geology and fossils found around Brachina Gorge and the Golden Spike for instance.Brachina Gorge, Flinders Ranges, South Australia and Etching Collage about Brachina Gorge and Art about Heads in the Landscape (Brachina Gorge)

I have extended the theme into the idea of mentally absorbing the landscape.  I look at Nature’s shapes/landforms/geomorphology from which I create preparatory drawings that lead into a type of deconstruction and  then a re visualisation of geological forms as I try to depict a visual simulation of Nature’s narrative, timeline and transformation and my thought process involved in learning about Nature and mind in flux.

 

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Old and New Images

At Muddy’s She Shed during the weekend Surf Coast Arts Trail event, the studio, temporarily transformed into a gallery, had a steady stream of viewers on both days. Interested participants created gelatine prints using Anglesea flora. Several items that included Maggi Jean’s ceramics, small sculptures – (a small elephant herd) and artists’ books – ( Anglesea flora and seaweeds) found good homes as well as Evie Wood’s poetry books, cards, watercolours and an acrylic still life titled Pink Lady Interior, 2016.

 

Point Addis Daisy, 2016 by Magaret Jean.

Point Addis Daisy, 2016 by Margaret Jean.

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Pink Lady Interior, 2016, acrylic, 40×40 cm by Evie Wood.

Several of my digital prints were also purchased. The oldest had been part of my PhD exegesis, titled Natalie (Demeter/Persephone) and the most recent was a reproduction of a viscosity printed collagraph that started as an experiment with the viscosity printing technique but also required additional chine-colle as a way to give the composition some space and atmosphere.

Natalie ( Demeter / Peresophone), 2016, ( original 1995, intaglio, ink and wash, 98 X 66 cm.)

Snowfields 2, 2016, viscosity print and hand made paper, 50x35cm

Snowfields 2, 2016, viscosity print and hand made paper, 50x35cm


Etching collage

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‘Where Sun Met Rock at Point Roadknight, 2016, intaglio, handmade paper and chine-colle, 24×40 cm

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Toward the Rock Ledge, 2016, intaglio, drypoint, chine-colle and handmade paper, 60x40cm

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Between Sand and Rock, 2016, intaglio, chine-colle and handmade paper, 2016, 50×35 cm

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The Swell, 2016, intaglio and pastel paper, 48×54 cm

A continuation of collage consisting of intaglio and drypoint mixed together with various types of paper into compositions about local environment and human interaction.


Artwork on Paper at Shopify

I’m trying a new approach to selling artwork. I still have exhibitions at galleries, certainly with large oil paintings, but moving with the times why not try an approach augmenting the gallery exhibition? The main point about websites and blogs is that viewers get a detailed description about how a particular work came about, they can pursue an image and ponder its pros and cons in their own space without being rushed or pressurised and can contact the artist with any pertinent questions.

Works on paper are a convenient medium owing to size and weight which can be shipped, cost effectively, to any destination quite easily.

The works chosen are from a series of etching, chine-colle and collage titled And then the Ocean Rusted, 2014. The title refers to when, 2-3 billion years ago, the World’s  iron laden oceans began rusting, laying down sediment, as oxygen from cyanobacteria entered the atmosphere causing the rusting process. I visited this location, taking rubbings/frottage from these metamorphosed sedimentary deposits from different gorges in Karijini National Park in West Australia which I combined with intaglio, an aspect of etching technique and printed in my studio. The whole series can be viewed at http://pinterest.com/elainedesterre/etching-and-chine-colle-titled-and-then-the-ocean/ 

 

The largest dimensions of the handmade prints can be viewed at

https://elainedesterreart.com/artwork-on-paper-at-shopify